Ural Federal University: Paleontologists Confirmed That Siberian Unicorns Fed on Cereals

Paleontologists have revealed that elasmotherium – Siberian unicorn – fed mainly on cereals (gramíneae), i.e. land plants, reports TASS. Previously, the unusual growth on the forehead of these animals considered to be an organ that enhances the sense of smell. This, according to some scientists, helped to get food from under water, and according to others – from the ground, told Pavel Kosintsev, senior researcher of the Institute of Plant and Animal Ecology of the Ural Branch of the Russian Academy of Science, leading researcher of the UrFU Laboratory of Natural Science Methods in Humanities.

“It was a herbivore, but it was, as the study revealed, feeding on cereals, in other words, terrestrial vegetation. And this came as a great surprise to the researchers, because it was supposed to feed on aquatic or subterranean vegetation. But in fact, this animal fed on the most common terrestrial vegetation, like saiga and bison,” Kosintsev said.

According to the scientist, it was first established that Siberian unicorns became extinct about 30 thousand years ago. They lived in the areas of Eastern Europe and Western Siberia. The reasons for the extinction of these animals remain unknown.

Elasmotherium belonged to the rhinoceros family and reached more than 5 m in length and 2.5 m in height.

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